BREWER, Maine — The Brewer School Department is planning to hire staff to accommodate a sudden influx of students just one year after it cut a dozen positions based on decreasing student population projections.

After a decade of decreasing student numbers, school leaders saw 130 students enroll this year, Superintendent Cheri Towle said Tuesday. The department is considering adding 18 new positions.

The need for more staff has the department bracing for a $1.2 million increase in personnel costs. The preliminary school budget for fiscal year 2017-18 is up $1.17 million from the year before, to $21.95 million, according to school department data.

“Last year we cut, as our enrollment went down,” Towle said. “This year we have seen an increase in enrollment in the district as more people are moving to Brewer, and now we are needing to hire to meet the needs of these students.”

A dozen staffers left the Brewer School Department last year, six through early retirement and six through layoffs. The cuts were used to reduce the higher than average teacher-to-student ratio, which in 2015-16 was 12 students for each teacher, Towle said last year.

The student population at the high school has dropped annually over the last decade from a peak of 919 students to just 647 for the 2015-16 school year. Based on the enrollment at Brewer High School as of April 1, 2016, the Maine Principals’ Association has recommended dropping the Witches from Class A participants in most sports to Class B next fall.

The current high school population is 670 and there are 1,010 at Brewer Community School, Towle said Wednesday. The overall number increased this year with the influx of new students enrolled.

“While this is great news for Brewer’s economy, this adds to our school budget expenses,” Towle said. “With less state subsidy and other factors like decreases in federal funding, specifically Title II, Brewer is seeing an impact from many sides.”

The preliminary budget was presented to the school board Monday by business manager Gretchen Gardner.

The draft budget figures show a $477,280 deficit. The breakdown of the proposed expenditure budget shows that the district would have $459,875 less to maintain the district’s buildings and fields.

“We are still piecing together all the revenues so that we can fund the expenditures that meet our students’ needs,” Gardner said. “The first reading of the budget is a mandatory process that we needed to complete in April, but that budget picture will certainly be changing in the next few weeks.”